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San Diego Personal Injury Law Blog

How surgical errors are actually making hospitals money

The Journal of the American Medical Association released a report last year that depicted an upsetting trend: When surgeons make a medical mistake, hospitals make more money. Those errors can include the following:

  • Misidentifying which part of the body needs an operation

What is the proposed law regarding malpractice in California?

Voters in California this fall will get a chance to significantly impact the way the state handles medical malpractice claims. If you have been a victim of medical negligence, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit. Currently, California law caps the awards for malpractice claims at $250,000. There are several important aspects of the proposed malpractice law, one of which addresses that compensation cap. According to the legislation, dubbed the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014, people who have suffered due to a medical mistake should be eligible to receive as much as $1 million in damages.

In addition to increasing potential awards, the act also seeks to keep patients safe through strengthening the state’s policies regarding physicians who misuse drugs and alcohol. If passed, the law would require doctors to be randomly tested and report any positive results to the California Medical Board. The board would then have to suspend physicians who have tested positive, pending an investigation into whether or not they were impaired while on duty. 

Practice safety around dogs in order to avoid an attack

Dogs can be lovable, furry friends that prompt people of all ages to reach out and say hello. However, before you extend your hand to pet a dog, consider the fact that the dog may not react how you would expect. Here at Nield Law, we see many people who are the victim of an unexpected dog attack.

NBC San Diego reports that in the period between July 1, 2012, June 30, 2013, there were nearly 2,700 people in San Diego who suffered a dog bite. According to a spokesperson for the county’s animal services department, dogs that were first-time offenders were responsible for nearly all of those instances.

Report: More than 500,000 doctors struggle with substance abuse

There are several things that can lead to a medical professional making a mistake that has serious consequences. An error in judgment or misreading a patient’s record, for example, can result in a San Diego patient experiencing unnecessary suffering. Proposed medical malpractice legislation is targeting another explanation for medical errors, and it’s one that could have a profound effect.

A sleep medicine expert from La Jolla was charged with helping his girlfriend gain access to prescription drugs. While he pled not guilty to the charges, he did admit that he smoked meth, and he surrendered his license to practice medicine.

Lawsuit: Child has limited movement in arm due to birth injury

As many people know, there are a number of things that could go wrong during childbirth. While some birth injuries may not be prevented, there are others that occur at the hands of the attending physicians. Parents in San Diego whose children suffer due to medical malpractice have a right to hold the responsible parties accountable, as illustrated by a recent lawsuit.

On March 1, 2011, a child was born in Illinois. Doctors assessed her immediately and gave her Apgar scores of 7 and 9, noting that her left arm was floppy. The arm had become stuck during delivery, creating a situation known as shoulder dystocia. The attending obstetrician reportedly tried several maneuvers in order to deliver the baby, eventually turning her.

San Diego driver failed to see pedestrian in deadly accident

Distracted driving or alcohol-related incidents are often the target of campaigns that aim to reduce traffic accidents. However, there are many instances in which San Diego drivers make a simple mistake that results in fatalities. It could be failing to put on a turn signal or momentarily taking their eyes off the road to change the radio station. In one recent situation, a driver simply did not see a pedestrian, causing a fatal outcome.

There have been 14 deadly pedestrian accidents in San Diego this year, which is a record, according to a spokeswoman for Circulate San Diego. The agency hopes the city will eliminate traffic-related deaths through providing education, infrastructure and enforcement. Yet those tools may not have saved the pedestrian killed recently.

Dog bite lawsuit results in $150,000 award

When someone suffers any kind of serious injury, there are often significant medical costs involved. Depending on the incident, that may include staying in a San Diego hospital, reconstructive surgery or costly prescriptions. Victims of dog attacks will often run into these expenses. Fortunately, they do have legal recourse to recover compensation. This can extend even to those who work in the veterinary industry, as one recent incident illustrates.

In March of 2011, a couple brought their dog to an animal hospital. While in the exam room, the Rottweiler, who was born in 2003, bit a clinic worker on the mouth. The woman had to undergo a number of procedures as a result of the incident, including surgery. Court documents revealed that the dog had bitten one of its owners prior to the attack in the animal hospital, and the dog bit an owner after the incident as well. As a result of the third bite and an insurance company threatening to cancel the owners’ home policy, the animal was euthanized.

California dentist faces consequences of 30 years of negligence

For many people in San Diego, a trip to the dentist is anxiety-producing. For some, it is because the mouth is a sensitive area. For others, it could be the fear of what the physician may find or treatments that may be necessary. Dentists should be trusted physicians who can accurately diagnose and resolve an issue. Unfortunately, there are some, like one Southern California prosthodontist, who truly give patients something to fear.

According to a report, 18 civil lawsuits and small claims have been filed against the man over the course of roughly 30 years. In one instance, a woman asserts that it cost $18,000 to fix the mistakes the dentist made when putting crowns on her teeth. Another woman claims that the dentist caused permanent damage by negligently placing bridges in her mouth. In yet another case, a woman learned the dentist had acted negligently only after she switched providers.

Improved pedestrian safety called for

The mayor of New York City has been very public about the effort the city is making to improve pedestrian safety in the area. The Vision Zero plan intends to eliminate all pedestrian fatalities by the year 2020. A fatal pedestrian accident can happen at any location—in an intersection with a crosswalk, in a parking lot, in a driveway and even on a sidewalk. When a pedestrian accident is not fatal, serious injuries are still possible including brain damage, broken bones and more.

New York is not the only city in the country that is struggling with high rates of pedestrian accidents. A group in Southern California known as Circulate San Diego reports that the 23 pedestrian deaths in the city of San Diego in 2012 represent an increase of more than 100 percent over the prior year. Additionally, more than 50 percent of those fatalities involved accidents that happened in designated crosswalks. Between 2008 and 2012, roughly 40 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the city happened in crosswalks.

California driver heads the wrong way and kills motorcyclist

It is human to err, and perhaps one of the places where that phrase holds significant truth is on the road. Many fatal motorcycle accidents in California are the result of someone making a simple mistake, such as taking a turn too quickly or a driver failing to see the cyclist. In some circumstances, heading the wrong way on a highway can have devastating consequences, as one recent incident reminds us.

An 86-year-old man from Sacramento accidentally entered the southbound lanes of Highway 160 while traveling northbound. In an effort to correct his mistake, he moved his truck toward the center divider in the hopes of being able to turn off the highway as soon as possible. However, a 56-year-old man from Sacramento was riding his motorcycle in the fast lane heading southbound. On a blind curve, the motorcycle and the truck collided.

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